Jacksonville Poised for Sustained Growth
Ask most people which city in the U.S. is the largest, and you will likely hear New York, or Los Angeles, or one of the other “major” cities around the country. The truth, however, is that the largest city in the country is Jacksonville, Florida, at 874.6 square miles. While the size of Jacksonville may not be well known, even fewer may realize that the city is a rising star of startup activity and job creation.
Forbes magazine recently ranked Jacksonville fifth in the nation in its “Top Cities to Find a Job in 2015” list, behind only Austin, TX; Grand Rapids, MI; Nashville, TN; and Charlotte, NC. No other Florida city made the top ten. The industries leading the way on job creation in Jacksonville are IT, education, and health care, and the city is also said to be “emerging as a low-cost hub for startups where entrepreneurs are finding money, mentors, and city grants to get started,” according to a 2014 CNN Money article.
Gary Chartrand, a Jacksonville resident and former Chairman of the State Board of Education, points out that “Jacksonville is on the cusp of creating a destination for innovative startup companies and is committed to accelerate the growth of STEM [science, technology, engineering & math] jobs in our community. The newly created STEM2hub (www.stem2hub.org) will be the catalyst to increasing STEM initiatives, STEM education and STEM careers by attracting STEM companies to our region.”